Whatever we each believe about politics, whatever  we’re rooting for in Impeachment Fest 2019, we can probably agree things aren’t ideal right now in America. 

Reds fans know the feeling. They might have differing ideas of what’s wrong with the recipe and how to make it better, but they can probably all agree the chili hasn’t been good. The front office chefs are still trying though, wheeling and dealing and hiring Driveline pitching guru Kyle Boddy to sprinkle his secret sauce into the pot. Combine him with pitching coach and off-speed whisperer Derek Johnson, and you’ve got a must-stop hotspot for pop-up pitching prospects. 

 

1. SS Jose Garcia | 21 | A+ | Late 2021

2. 3B Jonathan India | 23 | AA | Mid 2021 

One of the highest risers these past few months, Jose Garcia looks like the shortstop of the future in Cincinnati and could find himself near the top of prospect mountain soon if the power speed combo he unlocked late last year carries over into AA. 

Jonathan India hasn’t hit for power since being drafted 5th overall, but he’s done enough of everything else to stay on track to the majors and has enough hit, patience, power and speed to be a balanced fantasy contributor. 

 

3. LHP Nick Lodolo | 22 | A | Early 2022

4. RHP Hunter Greene | 20 | A | Mid 2022

Tim Burton. Nightmares. Christmas? Oops, got stuck in a word-association loop there. 

These guys, working with Boddy and Johnson over a period of years, have frightening potential. I’m getting some Vader vibes from Nick Lodolo, but that’s probably because I’ve been listening to Binge Mode. Meant to say Hader vibes. After a dominant first crack at professional hitters, Lodolo is looking the type to fly right through the system. He’s 6’6” and incredibly deceptive with a low release point he hides until the last moment, when it comes from a place few releases do. 

We’re in wait-and-see mode on Hunter Greene. I recommend sending out feelers this off-season. Pitchers often throw harder after Tommy John surgery, a fully Space Balls ludicrous-speed proposition for a guy who topped 100 with ease before the knife.

 

5. OF Michael Siani | 20 | A | 2023

6. 2B Jose Acosta | 20 | R | 2023

7. C Tyler Stephenson | 23 | AA | Late 2020 

8. 2B Tyler Callihan | 19 | R | 2024

Michael Siani stole 45 bases in his first year of full-season pro ball. He was 19 in the Midwest league—2.2 years younger than average. I’ve bounced him all around this list because defense and speed are his carrying tools at the moment, but that’s subject to change. His approach is mostly focused on the opposite field, and if he can learn how to clear out his front shoulder on an inside pitch, he’ll add a crucial factor in determining who he’ll be at peak. He might be okay without it, but he’ll have to be strong to make that work. 

Click here to see Siani make an incredible catch. 

Jose Acosta is a dice roll: the kind of player I’d rather just add/buy early and track from my roster than play the waiting game. If he’s bad out of the gate in full-season ball, I can just drop him and track from free agency, but if he starts hot, I have a good chance of losing out to someone who’s been tracking. No ones a secret in this game—not for long anyway. Especially not when they flirt with .400 all year and steal 24 bases without getting caught. 

I don’t know what to do about Tyler Stephenson. He doesn’t strike out much, but he doesn’t hit much, either, at least not for power in games. Batting practice suggests he’s got plenty of raw, and I’m wondering if there’s a breakthrough on the horizon. It’ll be interesting to see if Cincinnati blocks him with a big free agent. Scuttlebut says they want Yasmani Grandal back. 

Tyler Callihan might have a little Brandon Lowe in him as a bat-first infield prospect with enough glove to hang around. Swing looks a little like Lowe’s, too. I’m intrigued. 

 

9. RHP Vladimir Gutierrez | 24 | AAA | Mid 2020

10. 3B Rece Hinds | 19 | R | 2024

I have Vladimir Gutierrez here because he found something down the stretch last year, and I’m betting he takes another step forward working with Boddy and Johnson this off-season. He’s also got the strikeout-hungry combination that’s all the rage these days, pairing high-velocity four-seam heat with a blood-thirsty curve. 

This next guy packs more punch than a bag full of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

Wait.

Nevermind.

I can’t stand behind that.

Rece Hinds does have huge power; it’s just . . . Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are manna from heaven. And Hinds might not make enough contact to get to the good stuff in games. 

In other power-based news, Watchmen is amazing. I apologize for having ever doubted.

 

Radio Flier

C Chadwick Tromp | 25 | AAA | Mid 2020 

Just one vowel away from conversational kryptonite, Chadwick Tromp is a ridiculous pick as a flier. He’s old and short and he’s never been good at hitting. But then he met the juicy ball of 2019 and smashed older competition during his only healthy month, posting a 150 wRC+ that rings a pretty loud bell in the homer-happy context. 

One big reason I chose him is time. We shouldn’t have to wait long to find out which Tromp we see in 2020. He’s eligible for the rule 5 draft this December, and his defense behind the plate draws strong reviews, giving him an outside chance to get selected straight into a 2nd catcher competition.

  1. Malicious Phenoms says:
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    Good report Itch..What a crap farm system the Reds have, nobody on this list is of any interest to me in my dynasty league.

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks, Malicious Phenoms!

  2. IV says:
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    Been enjoying your prospect lists! Giving me some new names to look at in my Leagues off season Minor League draft.
    What are your thoughts on Jose Siri? Worried about the contact issues he has?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks, IV! Thrilled to hear you’re liking the lists!!

      I liked Siri enough two years ago to pay $4 in the Ditka Dynasty start-up auction, but it’s as you say, he’s the same contact-starved, four-tool fantasy daydream he’s always been. I’m still tracking because the potential is loud, but I don’t think he commands a roster spot in most dynasty leagues.

  3. Steve says:
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    Remember when Tony Santillan seemed like a prospect?

    Pepperidge Farm ‘members

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Loved this!

      I member.

  4. philip says:
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    Itch, couple of questions for you:

    1. Are you holding Honeywell over Lodolo, Skubal, Hall, Balazovich, or Gray? Would you hold Dunn over any of the same guys?
    2. I need to drop at least two: Varsho, Trammell, Pache, Chisholm, Urias, Adames.
    3. If you were rebuilding and wouldn’t be contending for about three years, would you consider dumping Lucchesi or Eaton for prospects (assuming there was no trade interest)?

    Thanks!

    • batflix says:
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      don’t trust honeywell, sell sell sell
      drop adames and jizz
      eaton for prospects

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Hi, Philip!

      I wouldn’t hold Dunn but can’t quit Honeywell if I’ve gotta cut him. I’d keep him over Balazovic but would do all I could to shop the whole group and would be happy to package a few together for a consolidation play.

      I’d cut Adames, Trammell, Varsho in that order.

      Would prefer to hold both Eaton and Lucchesi, depending on league size. Good pieces for consolidation paired with a couple pitching prospects if possible.

      An offer of Trammell or Pache, Skubal and Hall along with Eaton might pull something nice if it’s trade season.

      • Philip says:
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        I appreciate the thoughts! I figured to hold Honeywell and cut Dunn for another prospect. Trammell and Varsho were the two I most considered droppable. I’m planning on cutting Eaton if I can’t package him in the spring.

        It’s a deep league, 18 teams. I took over a neglected franchise that was probably pretty decent three years ago. I intend to rebuild properly through prospects and trades.

        My offense is a mess: W. Ramos, Freeman, Urias, Adames, McMahon, Turner, Pederson, Eaton, Robles, Dahl, Verdugo, B. Lowe, Toro, Brujan, Carlson, Robinson, O. Cruz, Pache, Chisholm, Varsho,

        Pitching is: Flaherty, Woodruff, Hendricks, lucchesi, Dunn, Gilbert, Honeywell, and Grayson Rodriguez. Bullpen is Ginkle and Treinan.

        I want to dump six players off the current roster to pull guys off the DL (Dahl/Verdugo) and pick up 4 new prospects in the spring. I’m leaning Dunn, Toro, Eaton, Treinan, Trammell, Varsho. I will attempt to trade beforehand.

        My philosophy is to collect as many minor leaguers as I can and hope some of them turn into stars of various magnitudes. I will punt the next two seasons to carry as many as possible, then flip players as it makes sense.

        I can try to consolidate multiple prospects into one superior prospect, but this might be a fickle league. We only keep four NA slots and there are plenty of waiver wire prospects available, even in an 18 team league. The teams at the top of the league have stacked rosters and some of the best prospects. Half the league appears to be rebuilding.

        • Philip says:
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          And it’s a roto league, so no hope of squeaking into the playoffs. Build a big time winner or wander in the weeds of also-ran.

  5. Slappy Jack says:
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    i was hoping acosta would fall to me in my draft
    seems less likely now

    I love and hate you

    keep up the good work

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Haha, sorry about that, Slappy Jack, but thanks for the kind words!!

      And I couldn’t agree more on Acosta. One of the rubs of the gig. Really hoping he doesn’t catch much helium this winter. Might be protected some by the age-to-level math.

  6. BigBun says:
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    What are your feelings on Daulton Varsho, Itch? Deciding my keepers tonight, do you think he’s worth a 4-year deal (max deal)? Competitive 12-team league AVG/OBP/SLG, 10 minor leaguers per team

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Hi BigBun,

      Hmmm, what are the penalties are for signing a long deal and moving on? Varsho feels pretty fringe in a league with 120 minor leaguers owned. I’d be uneasy locking him in for half a decade unless I felt really confidant I could trade him.

      How many catchers per team? If so, I’m thinking maybe the play is to sign him and shop him.

      • The Itch

        The Itch says:
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        Meant to say *if two, I’m thinking*

        • BigBun says:
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          Penalty would only be like $10-20/yr if I dropped him, salary cap is $1700 and goes up $100 every year.

          1 C slot and 2 UTIL spots per team. There was definitely some interest in him this year so trading him shouldn’t be that hard if that’s the move.

  7. knucks says:
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    Hey man, haven’t bothered you in the last few weeks with my long ass cries for help with Dynasty decisions… so I had some rekindling of a deal that I was working on with another owner about a month ago. He was asking for Yordan and offering a decent package. But we said we would revisit later, after he started asking for Hampson etc. Anyways, what do you think about this package in my 14 Team Dynasty?

    7×7 Roto
    W/ Hits, OPS, QS, Holds

    I send him Yordan

    I receive back
    #2 Pick (Will take CJ Abrams)
    Bichette
    Kieboom
    O’Neil Cruz
    Daniel Lynch
    Michael Kopech

    I own the #1, #12, #15 picks in the FYPD and was planning to take Vaughn with the 1st pick until I saw how high on CJ you are.

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      What up Knucks!!??

      I mean, you kinda just told me what’s up, huh . . .

      At least in this context . . .

      I like that trade. It’s wild, but I like it. Might shop a top two pick just to see. Dominguez is just on the front end of a perfect storm hype wave, so someone might back up the truck.

  8. The Itch

    The Itch says:
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    What up Knucks!!??

    I mean, you kinda just told me what’s up, huh . . .

    At least in this context . . .

    I like that trade. It’s wild, but I like it. Might shop a top two pick just to see. Dominguez is just on the front end of a perfect storm hype wave, so someone might back up the truck.

  9. Harley Earl says:
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    Itch!! Good piece!!!

    So, I’ve got a bit of a dilemma here. I own Jose Garcia but I honestly don’t feel the love for him as much as I’m feeling for another Reds prospect. I’ve taken a strong liking to Mr. Lodolo. He’s looking like a future stud to me whereas I’m not as sold on Garcia. Yeah, Garcia had the great season but Lodolo looks to me to have the higher floor overall.

    I will be in need of pitching in a year or two. Not this season, at least I hope not. But a couple years from now I will. I’ve got Luis Patino stashed already and I’d like to add one more stud arm to fill my staff out. I’m liking Lodolo for the spot Garcia already occupies on my minor league roster.

    So, my question is, would you curse me to days end if I cut Garcia and grabbed Lodolo? I saw where one commentor said the Reds have no prospects worth having. I disagree. I see a lot of high upside in Lodolo. Agree?

Comments are closed.